Hundreds of thousands of people signed up for infidelity website Ashley Madison in the last week, even after hackers leaked data about millions of its clients, according to the company.
The news comes after the founder and CEO Noel Biderman had stepped down as chief executive, role at Avid Life Media, the parent company of Ashely Madison.
Biderman, a former sports lawyer, launched the website in 2001. He said at the time that he wanted to offer the same opportunities for both women and men seeking extra-marital encounters.
The company has also struck back at reports that the site had few genuine female users, saying internal data released by hackers had been incorrectly analyzed.
Previous reports said thousands of users had listed email addresses that ended with ashleymadison.com and that very few, about 1,500, female members had ever checked the site for messages.
“Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated,” the company said in a statement. “Despite having our business and customers attacked, we are growing.”
“Last week alone, women sent more than 2.8 million messages within our platform,” Avid Life said, adding that 87,596 women had also signed up for Ashley Madison last week.
In July, a group called the Impact Team claimed that it had stolen information from the site, including data both on the company itself and on more than 30 million Ashley Madison users, who sign up with the goal of having extramarital affairs.
The cyber attackers threatened to release the embarrassing data if the website did not shut down.
Ashley Madison refused, and the hackers delivered on their threat recently.
“This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees. We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base,” Avid Life Media said in a statement.
The company has offered a reward of Canadian $500,000 for information about the Ashley Madison hackers.
Prior to the hack, the firm had announced plans to list publicly in London later this year, with the aim of raising up to $200 million.